Happy Valentine's Day!

If you want a fun project with the kids or just for yourself (or with a friend who finally agrees even after you mention the word "craft") you can try creating some Valentine buddies. These were done for a gift company, but you can easily create any animal, object or character with some simple art (or a printed photo of someone you know), glue, scissors and a pad of honeycomb tissue paper. You can find these various colored honeycomb pads online (amazon.com, joann.com, inkyantics.com).

1) On a heavy sheet of paper (Bristol board, poster board, etc.) create a front view of your character's body, arms and legs (only the body should be one color with no detail). Your character should be around 3"-4" in height. Separately, create the face and any other object that you want to include (I painted a vase holding a couple of arrows, but only a simple heart was used to place on the bear's chest). Make sure the shape of your character's body is simple and symmetrical since this will be the background and shape that serves as your template when cutting into your honeycomb pad. Note: the body will be covered with your honeycomb piece and will not be seen, so just a simple, flat, appropriate color for your character will do. 

Bear body is a simple symmetrical shape.  Arms, legs and objects are rendered and the face is created separately.
2) Cut out your character--body*, face and any objects.  *The body includes the arms and legs (with any objects).  You should now have at least two pieces: body (with arms/legs) and the face. 

3) With a piece of paper (thin copier paper) trace the shape of your character's body (just the simple shape of the head and torso--not the arms/legs). 

4) Cut out traced shape and fold in half. 

5) Trace this folded shape onto your honeycomb pad. There are cutting instructions on your pad, but you may need to practice with a simple half circle just to test your skills. 

6) Cut out your shape from your honeycomb pad (small scissors work best).  You should have a honeycomb piece that you can fan out (open), but let's keep it closed for now. 

7) Glue one side of your cut out honeycomb shape to the corresponding half of the body (glue stick).  

8) Apply glue to the remaining side (which is facing up), fan over and adhere to the other half of body. You will now have the final honeycomb form of your body.  You can trim any unwanted edges of your painted/printed background that are exposed outside the honeycomb body.  

9) Finish by glueing the face (and any objects you created) in position (it's OK if you squish the honeycomb a bit). 

10) If you have a phrase or word a colored/metallic marker can be used.

Valentine Bear, Puppy and Kitten.

Paper Santa Ornament

Instead of custom greeting cards, I decided to create paper ornaments to mail this year.  This Santa ornament held a smartphone with a personalized screen (I offered different options for recipients to consider).  The assembly is fairly easy and the only tools needed are an X-acto and glue stick.  Santa's right arm is adjustable, too, fitting into a diagonal slit.  Also included is a green hook allowing people to hang Santa wherever they choose. 

The Laughing Kookaburra

Quick studies at the zoo, with some added character for its attitude. It finally "laughed"--its entire body shaking.

Flyby Skaters

A quick sketch to commemorate speed skating.  Leg length or pure stamina. Which will win?